"With only a few days left until sequestration, the president is reported to have been playing golf in Florida. He has certainly proven capable of leisure, now it's time to prove that he's capable of leadership."
Bishop was reacting to a letter that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sent Congress, which said he would furlough 800,000 civilian Defense Department employees in order to deal with the more than $40 billion in cuts to the DOD.
Bishop and other Republicans, including House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerBottom Line Trump, GOP fumble chance to govern ObamaCare gets new lease on life MORE (R-Ohio), reacted by saying the sequester has been known for several months, but Obama and Senate Democrats have not yet offered any plan for avoiding it. The GOP has also noted that Obama has spent the last several days on vacation in Florida rather than work on the sequester.
"I share Secretary Panetta's concerns over the impact that sequestration will have on national security and our civilian workforce," he said. "The House has taken action, not once, but twice. We passed two bills to avoid sequestration but the Senate refused to consider them. This isn't a blame game, it's the truth."
The House passed two sequester replacement bills last year, but the Senate never took them up. The House has not passed any sequester bill this year, and has instead said it would wait to see if the Senate can pass any bill offering an alternative to the sequester.
With just a few days left before the cuts take effect March 1, Senate Democrats are hoping to move a bill that would reduce the spending cuts and replace them with various tax increases. Regardless of whether the Senate can pass this bill next week, House Republicans appear unlikely to consider this possibility.